Wizards Unite Gameplay (Speculation, Part 1)

harry potter WU gameplay

Finally, it seems we have a tentative release window thanks to Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara: Summer, 2019. This probably refers to the official Wizards Unite download, and not a Beta version.

That means it’s time to focus a little more on the Wizards Unite gameplay itself. So let’s go over what we officially know so far, and speculate a bit.

Wizards Unite new logo

Official Pottermore Game description

When the game was first announced, it was accompanied by a post on Pottermore that gave us a bit of an insight into what the new AR game game might be about. Here is an interesting excerpt.

The game encourages you to step outside with your phone, explore your local surroundings and take part in a series of adventures, such as searching for magical creatures and bumping into iconic wizarding world characters along the way. Crikey. Who knows who you’ll spot in your local park?You’ll also be able to cast spells, discover mysterious artefacts, and build up your very own, illustrious wizarding career. Yep, we can definitely get on board with this.

Pottermore

So let’s break this down and analyse it (and speculate to our hearts’ content.)

Step outside with your phone

John Hanke mentioned during his MWC keynote that a big part of what drove him to develop Pokémon GO was the idea of getting people out of their homes and their routines. He wanted to offer something people could share with their families or friends. A way to socialize through technology.

It seems the goal of Wizards Unite will be the same in this regard. We will have to investigate our surroundings and interact with other players in order to advance on the game.

Another interesting thing he mentioned was how much he enjoyed PoGO conventions.

It's probably safe to assume Niantic will be planning plenty of Wizards Unite conventions and special events to get players together and let us share our love for the game and the source material. Click To Tweet

Explore your surroundings

This one sort of ties with the previous point. There is a sense of discovering what is already there that comes with playing Pokémon GO (and hopefully Wizards Unite, soon). If the game makes us leave our homes, step outside into our neighbourhood, it becomes the perfect opportunity for us to explore the area, find new places, hidden treasures.

It’s happened to me many times, I’ll go from home to work and back for a while. Then one day I go into town and it looks like half the shops, caf√©s or restaurants are new. The game gives us a great excuse to keep up with what’s happening in our areas, and a great excuse to plan some short trips.

This, of course, is one way to interpret the line. It could also mean explore in a more literal sense. We might need to actively go looking for things or beasts. .We know many magical animals tend to hide when in Muggle areas, and artifacts won’t be in plain view, either. So the sentence might be a little nudge, telling us the AR goodies might be hidden from view, and we’ll have to go looking for them.

Take part in a series of adventures

This tracks perfectly with the idea of Wizards Unite having more of a through line than Pokémon GO. Everything seems to indicate the game will not simply be about capturing creatures or objects.

The Calamity  is identified as the cause of all these anomalies. There has to be a story behind it, how it came to be, who (if anyone) is controlling it. So I think we will not only get missions to advance in the game, but we will also be moving towards a certain goal.

There will be adventures and quests that align with the story we have been given so far. The SoS Task Force, the Calamity and the traces of magic in the Muggle world.

Search for magical creatures

This has long been speculated, especially considering the main focus of the new franchise, Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them, which follows Newt Scamanders‘ adventures in America, his encounters with Gellert Grindelwald and his relationship with a much younger Professor Dumbledore.

This past February we finally got our first glimpse at one of those Fantastic Beasts: a rogue Niffler loose in Muggle Great Britain

This video confirms what we suspected. Part of our job as members of the SoS Task Force will be to control these rogue creatures that have been affected by the Calamity and safely contain them. We still don’t know if we’ll be able to keep any of them as magical pets throughout the game, but we can always hope…

Bump into iconic wizarding world characters

Now this tidbit is chock full of possibilities. There are many wizarding world characters we would just love to encounter during the game. I don’t think the interaction with the most iconic characters (such as the Golden Trio) will be a common occurrence, however. The game is being developed in partnership with Portkey Games, so they need to keep as close to canon as possible. We never know when a new story might pop out and mess continuity up.

However, we can probably expect characters from the books to interact with us from time to time. Perhaps acting as guides to help us make our way through the game. Or as mentors to help us along our magical careers. (There will be more on this point in tomorrow’s post. In it we will cover the possibility of magical careers in more depth.)

And most importantly, at least in my head: the Calamity is messing with all kinds of magic. Could this include the Veil at the Ministry of Magic? You know which one I mean…Could this be a way for the story to bring back some of the characters that died in the books? I certainly know who I’d want back. How about you?

And that’s a wrap for today

Check back tomorrow for the rest  of this gameplay analysis.

We’ll be covering the second part of the official description: the casting of spells, the magical artifacts and the prospect of developing wizarding careers.

So what do you think? What are you most excited about? Drop us a line in the comments section or, better yet, take a stroll over to the community forum for a nice, friendly chat!

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